Nick Durandt accused of ‘enslaving’ boxers

2013-10-27 14:00

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Trainer allegedly holding on to his estranged boxer’s ‘stuff’

Africa’s most decorated boxing trainer, Nick Durandt, has been accused of using bullying tactics to buy boxers’ loyalty.

Andile Sidinile, the promoter of Simphiwe “V12” Vetyeka, who is the International Boxing Organisation featherweight champion, alleges that Durandt is holding on to Vetyeka’s world title belt and promotional and fight contracts despite the boxer jumping ship more than a month ago.

Vetyeka was lured into Sidinile’s Sijuta Promotions two weeks ago and is due for a unification bout with his World Boxing Association counterpart Chris John on December 6.

Vetyeka signed up for the fight under Durandt’s guidance.

“Nick clearly signed up this boy for a slave contract,” alleged Sidinile.

The Boxing World boss is set to earn $5 000 (R49 100) for the fight, while Vetyeka will get $20 000, an amount considered paltry for a contest of that magnitude.

Sidinile said: “African boxers are bullied around because of their not-so-polished education and it’s slowly but surely becoming clear who exploits boxers between promoters and managers.

“Strangely, this is the same person who recently accused local promoters of unprofessionalism and I don’t know whether what he’s doing is professional.”

Durandt admitted he was in possession of the revered boxer’s belt and contract, but said he will only release them once Vetyeka settles his “loan” with him.

An irritated Durandt said: “I have nothing much to say besides telling Vetyeka to pay up his debt first and then he can have his stuff.”

When asked about the amount owed to him, an irate Durandt told City Press its “none of your business”.

The boxer said: “I don’t owe him a cent. That guy is just a greedy crook.”

Sidinile, a former Boxing SA (BSA) board member also expressed his suspicion that Durandt was hiding something.

The matter was reported to BSA for an amicable solution as the fight was fast approaching, he added.

Loyiso Mtya, the regulatory body’s interim chief executive said they were investigating but maintained BSA was not directly linked to the dispute.

The debacle involved an international contract between Vetyeka, Durandt and Dragon Fire Promotions (DFP) of Australia, which was signed in BSA’s absence, said Mtya.

In a letter sent to DFP, of which City Press has a copy, Sidinile wrote: “We were told by Vetyeka that he signed a contract to fight John in Australia on December 6.

“Our interest is to ascertain if the fight is still on, or if you are still interested in the fight with Simphiwe Vetyeka,” the letter reads.

Sidinile also wanted copies of the contracts and advised the promotions company to channel all correspondence with regards to Vetyeka to Sijuta Promotions as he was no longer contracted to Durandt.

DFP’s chief operating officer, Tony Tolj, told Sidinile to speak to Durandt and Vetyeka. But the East London-born Vetyeka does not have the documents.

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